MEMPHIS, Tenn. – On the strength of three consecutive top-10 NASCAR K&N Pro Series East (NKNPSE) finishes, Grant Quinlan (@GQuinlan28) and his Rette Jones Racing (RJR) trek west to Memphis (Tenn.) International Raceway looking collectively for their first K&N win in Saturday night’sMemphis 150 presented by AUTOZONE.
After mounting a top-five finish at Langley (Va.) Speedway, Quinlan grabbed his first-career K&N pole at South Boston (Va.) Speedway in an event doubleheader nearly two and a half weeks ago.
While Quinlan experienced an unforeseen parts failure out of their control in the first race, the late model standout still salvaged a top-10 finish.
Starting third in the second race, Quinlan quickly raced into the lead and controlled the field for a whopping 50 laps before sliding back in the rundown late in the race – but held firm to record a seventh-place finish.
Showcasing the speed in his No. 30 Superior Tool & Mold Ford, Quinlan and crew chief Mark Rette are determined to put together the whole package in the sixth race of the 2018 race.
“Feels good to get back to some K&N racing,” offered Quinlan. “Winning the pole and leading 74 laps at South Boston between the two races was incredible, but we were a little disappointed in our finishing positions. The good thing is that we learned a ton in South Boston and I think we can easily apply that to Memphis this weekend.”
Earlier this year, Rette Jones Racing participated in a tire-test at Gateway (Ill.) Motorsports Park with ARCA Racing Series champion Justin Lofton. That same tire they tested will be used in competition at Memphis this weekend.
The powerhouse K&N East team is hopeful their setup combined with a competitive tire compound will prove to be a winning combination.
Even though Quinlan didn’t participate himself in the test, he’s been nurtured by Lofton and car owner Rette and he hopes to reap the benefit of the intel acquired by his Mooresville, N.C.-team.
“Even though the team tested at a different track with this same tire, I feel like that should still play into our hands this weekend,” added Quinlan. “I know some teams had tires issues during the Memphis race last year, including ours. Mark (Rette) seems content that we can go to the track – apply what they learned and be in the hunt for the win.
“At this point, checkered flags is what we’re after.”
Rette agrees with Quinlan that the tire test and 25 extra laps should pay dividends to his No. 30 Rette Jones Racing team.
“I feel pretty good about going to Memphis this weekend,” added Rette. “I think that Grant can go to the track and deliver for us in a huge way. I was super proud of him for efforts at South Boston and I think after those performances, he’s hungrier than ever.
“Justin (Lofton) did a good job getting us dialed in at Gateway and utilizing that same tire should be a benefit to Grant. We’ll have some track time on Friday during the open-test, so between that and all the other track time, I feel pretty good about our odds.
“I think it’s safe to say – everyone believes it’s not a matter of if Rette Jones Racing will win a K&N race, but when. I hope it’s this weekend.”
In addition to Superior Tool & Mold, JRI Shocks, Quinlan Excavating and Contracting, Huntilar Corp., Goodridge Fluid Transfer Systems, Ford Performance and Jones Group International will serve as associate marketing partners for Saturday night’s 200-lap contest.
Quinlan, 19, has 10 NASCAR K&N Pro Series East starts to his credit with a career-best second place finish at Columbus Motor Speedway in his series debut in 2015. Overall, he has tallied one pole, two top-five and five top-10 finishes.
The Memphis 150 presented by AUTOZONE (150 laps | 112.5 miles) is the sixth of 14 races on the 2018 NASCAR K&N Pro Series East schedule. Practice begins for the one-day show on Sat., June 2 from 12:45 p.m. – 2:15 p.m. Group qualifying is set for later in the day at 4:15 p.m. followed by the green flag shortly after 6:00 p.m. The event will be televised on a tape-delayed basis on the NBC Sports Network with an air date of Wed., June 6 at 6:00 p.m. ET. All times are local (Central).
The latest on Rette Jones Racing is available at RetteJonesRacing.com, the team’s Facebookpage or Twitter @RetteJones30.
Quinlan also tweets. Follow him @GQuinlan28.